Tropical Cyclone "Veronica" formed north of Kimberly, Western Australia on March 19, 2019. The low rapidly intensified yesterday and BOM expects it to continue intensifying to a severe category with a severe tropical cyclone and coastal crossing possible for the Pilbara coast over the weekend.
This will be a slow-moving and intense tropical cyclone with significant and prolonged wind, storm surge and flooding impacts.
Tropical cyclones Veronica and Trevor at 00:40 UTC on March 20, 2019. Credit: JMA/Himawari-8, RAMMB/CIRA
Tropical Cyclone "Veronica" at 00:40 UTC on March 20, 2019. Credit: JMA/Himawari-8, RAMMB/CIRA
There is a level of uncertainty in the exact track but communities along the Pilbara coast should begin preparing now for what could be a dangerous period over the weekend, BOM's Senior Meteorologist Andrea Peace said.
The current forecast track takes Veronica towards the WSW over the next 24 to 48 hours before taking a more southwards turn on Friday, March 22.
With very warm sea surface temperatures off the northwest coast and atmospheric conditions that are conducive to cyclone development, there's ample energy to feed this system—meaning that we can be sure that this system will intensify and gales may be experienced along the coast from Friday, although more likely overnight into Saturday, Peace said.
Communities in the Pilbara, particularly those between Port Hedland and Exmouth need to stay up to date with the latest advice from the Bureau and the Department of Fire and Emergency Services, she said.
Featured image credit: GFS/TropicalTidbits